Situated 600m south of the ancient Buddhist complex in Sarnath, Padma Samye Chokhor Ling Monastery was officially inaugurated in 1995 after a construction period lasting five years.
If you decide to pay this monastery a visit, you may have to be quite persistent at the entrance knocking on the door. It took a good three minutes for anyone to respond, by which time I had almost given up hope.
This is a vibrant and traditional monastery with also acts a center of retreat. It is home to around 20 monks from Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, ranging from 9 through to 30 years of age. Here they are educated, learning the basics of reading, writing and grammar in addition to studying philosophical texts. Learning English is also at the core of their education.
The the interior of main temple within the monastery complex is covered with frescoes, very reminiscent of the countless monasteries I have visited in Ladakh, although here they are of course far more modern.
The monastery was built and is run by the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center (PBC). The aim of the organisation is to preserve the authentic message of Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Padmasambhava in its entirety, and in particular to teach the traditions of the Nyingma school and Vajrayana Buddhism.
PBC includes over 20 centers in the U.S.A., India, Puerto Rico, Latvia, and Russia, as well as monastic institutions in India, the U.S.A., and Russia.
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